Invest in rain harvesting, urges JCTR
By Staff Reporter
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) says there is need for government to seriously invest resources in rain water harvesting to enable farming communities engage in agricultural activities throughout the year.
Speaking during a JCTR organised media tour of Silozilozi and Luyaba damsrecently, JCTR socio-economic and development programme officer Innocent Ndashe said it was high time government allocated resources to the rehabilitation of dams throughout Monze district to enable farmers access water for both domestic and agriculture use.
Ndashe said there was a huge potential for irrigation in the district, but that the risk of dams drying up in the district due to neglect by government was a major draw back in the growth of irrigation activities.
He said there was need for government to invest in rain water harvesting programmes such as rehabilitation of dams to facilitate irrigation among farmers and potently reduce the effects of climate change.
“Government needs to realise that rain fed agriculture is no longer reliable, and therefore, there is need for them to invest in rain water harvesting such as rehabilitation of existing dams to enable farmers grow crops throughout the year without waiting for the rains,” he said.
Ndashe bemoaned the poor state of Silozilozi and Luyaba dams that have both shrinked due to encroachment, saltation, and pollution.
And several farmers have joined calls for government to urgently rehabilitate the two dams before they dry up.
Henry Uli, a farmer, said it was important for government to urgently work on the dams that have improved the lives of almost 14 surrounding villages.
Headman Kabulo said Luyaba dam also needed urgent attention by government before it collapsed or dried up.
“This dam has helped us here in reducing poverty because through gardening many families have a stable income and this has helped them to buy livestock and send their children to school. We therefore, beg government to look into our plight and work on this dam before we lose our source of livelihood,” said headman Kabulo.
And acting Monze district commissioner Gorreti Bbalo said government was concerned about encroanchment around some dams in the district, especially the Silozilozi dam built between in the 1940s.
Bbalo who is also district administrative officer said council should help to sensitise locals to stop building houses around the dam.